Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SPOTTED: Kimberly Derting & The Body Finder (Interview + Long Excerpt)

 Hi guys! Oh my God. Today is the day we've all been waiting for...the book birthday of The Body Finder!! YAY! *throws confetti*

I've SPOTTED Kimberly Derting a few days back. And since I'm a very curious girl (with a LOT of questions that couldn't all fit in the interview. Yeah, I cut them.), I grabbed the chance to interview her. And...ta-da! Here it is!

What is your purpose in writing The Body Finder?

For me, it was just a story that I really, really wanted to write. After coming up with the idea for The Body Finder, I couldn’t wait to get started on it! I hope readers will love it as much as I do!

What lessons will the readers pick up from your novel?

NEVER. EVER. CHASE. SERIAL KILLERS! Oh, and stay in school. :)

What was it like writing from the serial killer’s perspective?

Sadly for me, I loved it! It was so much fun getting inside the bad guy’s head, even if only for a little while. I was really excited when my editor asked for more of these chapters!

What is Violet and Jay’s relationship like?

They have been friends since childhood, so when they start to see each other as something more, I think it adds a sweetness to the romance that develops. I hope readers feel the same way!

Is Violet inspired by someone? Who?

No one really in particular…unless there is someone out there who can find dead bodies??? I hope there isn’t because, man, that would be embarrassing!

Can you name a celebrity/singer/artist/whoever that looks like Violet? Or share some or her physical characteristics?

Ooh, that’s tough. I’m not sure I’ve ever imagined a celebrity, but Violet has dark, curly hair, green eyes, fair skin, and is a runner, so she’s fit. She’s pretty, but doesn’t really give it much thought.


Favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird.

Favorite author?

Harper Lee. Close second, Stephen King.

Favorite movie?

The Last of the Mohicans.

Favorite among the characters of your novel and why?

Aside from Violet and Jay, I really love Violet’s best friend Chelsea! There is just something about a girl with no internal filter that appeals to me. :)

Favorite scene in The Body Finder?

I really loved writing the graveyard scene! Without giving away too much, Violet is searching for an echo a recently murdered girl so she can track the killer. It’s not that it’s scary; I just like how it shows Violet’s respect for her gift, and for the dead.

Was there a part of the novel that was hard to write?

For The Body Finder, there really wasn’t. I was fortunate enough to have two wonderful editors and an agent helping me polish it every step of the way. If I had any struggles, they would always be there for me to lean on. I <3 them!

Did you include any personal experiences in the novel? Or was there a part of the novel that was inspired from your personal experience?

Nothing I can think of specifically, although all of the settings in The Body Finder are real places I’ve been to.

How does your mood affect your writing?

Not really, although, if I go a long time without writing, I can get a little cranky.

Is it important that you are in an ambience that you like when you write? If yes, why?

Nope, I can usually tune out the chaos when I’m writing. I guess I can thank my wild kids for that!?! :)

Do you listen to music when you write? Do you have a specific song in mind?

I know a lot of writers that do this, but I don’t, unless you count my son’s loud music from the other room.

Does music help you in your writing? How and why?

I love music (I really do!), just not while I’m writing. It’s not that it’s a distraction; I just haven’t really written anything with music playing before. Okay, maybe I’ll try to just for you!

Do you write continuously or do you take breaks?

I take breaks when I can. Usually ever couple hours or so, just to stretch and make sure the kids (or my husband) aren’t setting the house on fire. :)

What are you working on now?


What tips can you give to aspiring writers (like me)?

Write for you, not just to get published. Once you can do that, the rest will take care of itself. Oh, and read everything you can!

What would you like to say to the people who have read The Body Finder or have included your novel in their wishlists and/or to-be-read piles?

Just that I’m so thankful that you chose to read my book, and I truly hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for dropping by Kim!

You are very welcome! Thanks for the great questions; I had a blast answering them!!

YAY! Thanks! I'm glad you had fun with my questions! :)

Kim gave me a long excerpt to post here. Read below and enjoy!


Violet Ambrose wandered away from the safety of her father as she listened to the harmony of sounds weaving delicately around her. The rustling of the leaves mingled gently with the restless calls of birds and the far-off-rushing waters of the icy river that lay beyond the trees.

And then there was another sound. Something she couldn’t quite identify. Yet.

She was familiar enough with the meaning of this new, and misplaced, noise. Or at least with what it signified. She had been hearing sounds, or seeing colors, or smelling smells, like these for years. For as long as she could remember.

Echoes, she called them.

She looked back at her father to see if he had heard it too, even though she already knew the answer. He hadn’t, of course. Only she could hear it. Only she understood what the haunting sound foretold.

He walked casually behind her, at his same slow and steady pace, keeping a watchful eye on his eight-year-old daughter as she ran ahead of him.

The sound whistled past her again, carried on the breeze that sent crisp, golden leaves swirling around her ankles. She stopped briefly to listen, but once it passed she continued on ahead.

“Don’t go too far,” her father dutifully called from behind her. He wasn’t really worried about her out here. These were their woods.

Violet had practically been raised in this forest, learning about her surroundings, learning how to tell what direction she was facing by the lichen growing on the tall tree trunks, and knowing how to tell the time of day by the position of the sun…at least on those days when that sun wasn’t obscured by the gloom of cloud cover. This was easy territory, even for an eight-year-old girl.

She ignored her father’s warning and wandered off the path, still listening to that something that was beckoning her forward. Her feet felt propelled by a will of their own as she struggled to make the sound into something coherent, something she could identify. She stepped over fallen branches and walked through a sea of fern fronds that grew up from the damp ground.

“Violet!” She heard her dad’s voice breaking through her concentration.

She paused, and then called back, “I’m right here,” although not as loudly as she should have before she started walking again.

The sound was getting stronger. Not louder, but stronger. She could feel the vibrations practically resonating beneath her skin now.

This was how it was with these things. This was the way these feelings came to her. They were indescribable, yet to her they made perfect sense.

And when they called to her she felt compelled to answer.

She was close now, so close that she could hear a voice. That was what this echo was, a voice. Single and solitary, seeking someone—anyone—to answer it.

Violet was that someone.

She stopped at a mound of damp dirt covered with a thick layer of rotting leaves. The soil was oddly out of place amid the undergrowth, with nothing living springing up from it. Even Violet knew that the soil was too newly placed to have fostered life just yet.

She knelt down, feeling the pulsating echo coming from beneath. She could feel it reverberating within her veins, coursing hotly through her small body. Without waiting, Violet brushed away the leaves and debris with a sweep of her coat sleeve, before she began earnestly scooping at the soft earth beneath with her hands.

She heard her father’s light footsteps catch up with her and his gentle voice ask, “Find something, Vi?”

She was too lost in her task to answer, and he didn’t pry. He was used to this, his little girl searching out the lost souls of the forest. Without speaking, he leaned against the soaring trunk of a nearby cedar and waited without really watching.

Violet felt her fingertips brush against something hard and smooth, cold and unyielding. She shuddered against a disturbing awareness that she couldn’t quite name and kept digging.

She sank her fingers into the moist soil once again. And again, they touched something chillingly firm.

Something too soft to be a rock.

And it was back, that nagging something that was trying to get through to her.

She reached in again, this time not to dig, but to sweep away the thin layer of dirt to get a better view of what lie beneath. She had captured her father’s interest and he leaned over her, looking into the shallow hole.

Violet worked like an archeologist, carefully sifting and brushing across the top of her discovery, so as not to disturb what might be buried there.

She heard her father gasp at the same time she recognized what she had uncovered. She felt his strong hands reaching for her from behind, pulling her firmly by the shoulders away from the fresh dirt and gathering her into his strong, safe arms…away from the sound that was calling to her…

And away from the girl’s face staring up at her from beneath the soil.

Oh my God!!! I soooo want to read TBD now! Please, please let there be The Body Finder in the bookstore near my school! Por favor!

The Body Finder is out!! Go to your nearest bookstore and grab a copy!!
Don't miss the chance of enjoying this awesome, thrilling, heart-pounding read!! *ushers you to the door* Go, go, go!! Buy now!

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